The film toured around the country for many years - often being re-edited and re-titled ("Tell Your Children", "Dope Addict", "Doped Youth", "Love Madness", "The Burning Question"). It was re-discovered in the early 1970s by NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) and screened again as an example of the government's demonization of marijuana. NORML may have been confused about the film's sponsorship since one of the film's distributors, Dwain Esper, testified to the Arizona Supreme Court that "Reefer Madness" was not a trashy exploitation film but was actually sponsored by the U.S. Government - a convincing lie, but a lie nonetheless.
That being said, the film is still quick enjoyable since it dramatizes the "violent narcotic's ... soul destroying" effects on unwary teens, and their hedonistic exploits enroute to the bottom.
You can find more information regarding this film on its IMDb page.
Also, if you are interested in the rich, uniquely American history of exploitation films, there are two excellent books on the subject:
"Forbidden Fruit - The Golden Age of the Exploitation Film", Felicia Feaster and Bret Wood, Midnight Marquee Press, 1999.
"Bold! Daring! Shocking! True! A History of Exploitation Films, 1919 - 1959" Eric Schaefer, Duke University Press, 1999.
Screenplay: Arthur Hoerl
Original Story: Lawrence Meade
Additional Dialouge: Paul Franklin
Dorothy Short: Mary
Kenneth Craig: Bill
Lillian Miles: Blanche
Dave O'Brien: Ralph
Thelma White: Mae
Carleton Young: Jack
Warren McCollum: Jimmy
Pat Royale: Agnes
Joseph Forte: Dr. Carroll
Harry Harvey Jr.: Junior
Subject: Reefer Dud
Subject: Worst movie ever made
Subject: What the hell is "apeism."
"God either wants to eliminate bad things and cannot, or can but does not want to, or neither wishes to nor can, or both wants to and can. If he wants to and cannot, then he is weak – and this does not apply to god. If he can but does not want to, then he is spiteful – which is equally foreign to god's nature. If he neither wants to nor can, he is both weak and spiteful, and so not a god. If he wants to and can, which is the only thing fitting for a god, where then do bad things come from? Or why does he not eliminate them?"
All anyone needs is to look within themselves, not blame some imaginary friend for their failings. And what has that got to do wit having a good time anyway? Why do the religious kooks insist on linking the two? To quote another classic of debauchery: " No fun of any kind!" Seems to be their motto.
This movie was and is a hilarious farce, preying on the falsely pious and their fears and prejudices, much like religion and Fox News do today. There will always be those who gasp and cry and those who scoff. Remember, this is how you sell advertising - by dividing a gullible populace over false ideological lines. Field trip to Colorado, anyone?
Subject: Never Question Authority?
Subject: OMG Reefer Madness
Subject: Reefer Madness
All I need now is my bong and a weapon. Has anyone seen my family? I want to axe them something.
Subject: WOW !!!!
Subject: Great title!
'Women Cry For It - Men Die For It!'
Just as much fun to watch stoned or straight.
Over the top and off the cliff, exploitation at it's finest!
Bureau Official: Here is an example: A 15 year old lad apprehended in the act of staging a holdup - 15 years old and a marijuana addict. Here is a most tragic case.
Dr.Carroll: Yes, I remember. Just a young boy... under the influence of drugs... who killed his entire family with an axe.
Subject: one wop to another
Subject: All's well that ends well
Subject: I don't get it
This is almost as trippy as "Drugs are like that"
Subject: From a high school student's POV...
On a side note, to the person who uploaded this, I was wondering if there was a higher quality upload then the ones that are here. If you could email me and tell me that would be great.
Thanks and enjoy the movie.
Subject: Urgent Help requested
Writing to you with request for help in our Rooftop Cinema project.
We plan to screen cult classic Reefer Madness in July 2010 in the summer outdoor cinema in Tallinn, Estonia.
As we have w20m x h13m outdoor cinema screen and 15000 ANSI digital Christies projector we would need maximum quality from the screened film´s digital file. The current mpeg2 might remain little lo-fi for our purposes.
We would like to request from the uploader of this movie to Internet Archive if it would be possible to provide us with UNCOMPRESSED AVI or QUICKTIME FILES as high quality video as possible?
If you would be able to share the file, please contact me directly: aivar [at] katusekino.ee or skype aivarlaan
Looking for any feedback as soon as possible,
Thank you very much in advance,
Program Director | Partner
Subject: Watcha Need....
Subject: I Can't Believe
The government has a nack for turning a deaf ear and a blind eye toward issues they don't want to see or hear. This is a prime example.
Subject: Come on people
Subject: Wow.....Just Wow
Subject: Critical Thinking Skills
Thank goodness that the truth has come out about cannabis, and Anslinger has been shot down many times. Sadly, the propaganda pieces are still out there, and folks continue to believe it.
Reefer Madness -- 0 stars.
this film is hilarious when smoking marijuana.
so lol at this and all haters
Subject: Killer Smoke .....
Anyone wanting a fight can meet me at the Mace Off licence in the High Street Forres on Friday nights from eight til late
Bring your own ice
Subject: Dig it
Subject: hilarious, but sadly it served its purpose
The anti-pot campaign was perpetuated in large part by William Randolph Hearst, who used "the scourge of marijuana" as an excuse to implement social reforms aimed at marginalizing blacks and hispanics, who were perceived as being pot's primary dealers.
The fact that America still spends millions making anti-pot tv commercials and fighting "the war on drugs" just goes to show how successful the thugs like Hearst really were.
Oh, well. If you're one of us who know better, light up and have a laugh at this classic.
Subject: see the lies sponsored by the U.S. Government
Welcome to the US way of rule
Lets scare them and lets hope we get away with it
I think it is rather interesting for everyone to see it and complain about the way the US does his politics and education based in so sad examples like this that seem harmless have serious consequences in the life of millions
Subject: Faster! Faster!!
All of this of course, id played absolutely seriously, and this doubles the laughs on this one. The fact that marihuana is played up to be even more dangerous then Opium is rather curious, and the fact that it can make you laugh deliriously and giggle to no end is another thing I didnÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂ¡ÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂ¯t know. Also, apropos of nothing, beware of courts located high in office buildings that have convenient open windows.
Nutty and crazy, this is not THE funniest worst movie youÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂ¡ÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂ¯ll see, but itÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂ¡ÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂ¯s still quite amazing to watch.
Subject: A Great Comedy!
A title that perfectly suits the movie, but not in the way it was perceived when this piece of propaganda was released.
A "reefer" is a spliff, or a joint. A "marihuana cigarette". And this movie is all about the dread marihuana, as they call it in the movie. And there's just too much madness in the movie.
Smoking weed is presented as the reason for a 16 year old boy to kill his entire family, for example. During the entire movie you're being presented to an extreme version of all the prejudice there is against marihuana.
Reefer Madness is a movie with players and a script. It's not a documentary. And that makes it an invaluable piece of comedy, even though it is never intended as such. But aren't these things the most funny, in some way?
The story is located in a little town. You're being introduced to a group of friends. They're being tempted into marijuana use.
As soon as they smoke a little bit, they completely change. One -ofcourse under the influence of marijuana- causes a car accident. You'll even witness a sexual assault caused by a few draws from the reefer. And murder.
A young man smokes a joint, and then loses all self-control which makes him rape the girl. the girl resists and the boy shoots her dead. Or didn't he? In court, he's found guilty and death sentence is put on him.
In another scene, the police enters the house of someone who is under the influence of marijuana and as a result kills the policeman. All the while, his girlfriend laughs her brains out...
This unintentional comedy shows the reefer madness. The people who believe that this great comedy really isn't a comedy at all. They would perfectly agree with this scene, where a judge sentences someone to a "house of the criminally insane" for the rest of his life on the basis of marijuana use.
And that's the true reefer madness.
However, there are some really great scenes, some great acting, and the story-line has some nice angles.
Subject: Reefer Badness
It is watchable, but besides the scenes of the people smoking pot and dancing etc. it just wasn't that interesting. Here's my summary (as much as I could watch of it):
Creepy adult pushers have people to their apartment for pot parties. Creepy guy pusher likes young girl. Other creepy guy pusher gets "kids" (who look 30) to the apartment and casually slip them "reefers". Boy gets high and takes creepy guy to big pot dealer's place. Hits old man walking in street killing him. Good boy goes bad. Good girl follows him, winds up shot. Everybody gets busted. The End.
And that's about as interesting as it gets. All-in-all this movie wasn't very good, but it is funny how they downplay Heroin, cocaine, or any other drug and make pot out as "Public Enemy #1"
As a movie it's 1 star, as disinformation: 4 stars.
Subject: I Thought There Was Something Funny About Those Cigarettes
Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: ****. Weirdness: ***. Historical Interest: *****. Overall Rating: ****.
Subject: classic unintended parody
This print is a little bit deteriorated, and many scenes are so dark they can't be seen as clearly as when I saw this 30 years ago in school. The sound is still as good as it was, though, and no sync problems that I noticed.
Still, the picture is still good enough to read the following headlines when they show the Herald Tribune newspaper's EXTRA edition (about 2/3 through the film) with the lead story "Harper Verdict Expected Tonight"...
among the smaller print headlines you will see typical generic headlines such as:
"Mayor Announces New Project Of Administration"
as well as the cryptically prophetic:
"Nation Alerted Against Trend To Machinery"
the contemporarily appropriate:
"3000 Additional Japanese Troops Arrive In China"
and, blazoned boldly in the center, the bafflingly comedic:
"Dick Tracy, G-Man, In Sensational Raid"
all of which seem to somehow subliminally combine to produce a blurring between reality and this "fictionized" (that's how the film describes it) tale of drug abuse gone too far.
There are over a DOZEN 'reefers' or 'marihuana cigarettes' consumed in this movie, not for the faint of heart.
Download the largest file you can stand to wait for, if you're going to be projecting this onto the side of your school bus at Burning Man.
Subject: Must See